Start Point to Salcombe
Salcombe to Bantham
The Salcombe side of the estuary features two beaches at North Sands and South Sands. These are quite a walk from the town, so it’s probably best to drive there or take the ferry from the town. These two beaches are large (at low tide) with cafes, toilets etc, but therefore tend to be busy.
Although the coast path continues west along the cliffs from Salcombe to Bolt Tail, the only beach for the next 5 miles is Soar Mill Cove, which is small and understandably quiet. However, the village of Hope Cove and its two beaches Inner Hope and Outer Hope, are large, sheltered and popular. They are a bit of a drive to reach, but are well served with pubs and food, and are a great place for walks up onto the cliffs. Hope Cove Weekend (usually the last weekend in August) is great fun, especially the sand castle competition.
Next along the coast are South Milton Sands and Thurlestone Sand, both of which are a good size, accessible, sandy and often busy. South Milton is particularly popular for swimming, and also for the Beach House restaurant, the best beach-side restaurant in the area, and still open lunchtimes in winter. Walking north along the Coast Path you can reach Yarmouth Beach.
At low tide, Bantham is the largest sandy beach by far, with ample parking, coffee etc – it’s big enough to have its own website! This is South Hams’ best beach for surfing and kite boarding, being very large and shallow and facing the prevailing wind/waves. The beach also has proper lifeguards as the tide can come in quickly. This was the only British beach included in The Lonely Planet’s guide to the best 10 beaches in Europe.
Across the estuary from Bantham lies Burgh Island with its iconic Hotel …. to be continued….